Martin Naylor

Study for ‘Discarded Sweater’


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Martin Naylor 1944–2016
Graphite, ink and acrylic on paper mounted onto board
Unconfirmed: 295 × 380 mm
Purchased 1997


This is one of a group of eight working drawings (Tate Gallery T07304-11) for Discarded Sweater (1973, Tate Gallery T07275). The sketches show, variously, the sweater with and without a cut-out square patch, and the added elements of the frame and the post. Jeremy Lewison, in his essay for the 1986 Arts Council show (p.31), writes that Naylor's art 'is created out of the agony of the relationship which he wishes to terminate. In this respect he is both supplicant and saint, tormentor and martyr'. This comment would seem to be supported by the artist's pencil notations on the sketches. On one sketch he writes: 'Ruthless abandonment, Shedding skins, Discard as with unwanted friends or lovers'; on another: 'personal clothing metaphor, An old sweater My sweater'.

Further reading:
Sandy Nairne and Nicholas Serota (eds.), British Sculpture in the Twentieth Century, exhibition catalogue, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London 1981, p.225
Martin Naylor: Between Discipline and Desire, Selected works 1977-86, exhibition catalogue, Arts Council, London 1986, reproduced p.6

Terry Riggs
October 1997

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Technique and condition

The following entry discusses eight drawings, T07304-T07311.

The informal drawings are executed on thin, white grid-lined paper, probably taken from an exercise book. The edges have been cut. There are pin holes evident in the top corners of five of the sheets where they have been pinned to the wall.

The sketches were made in acrylic paint and pencil, with collage elements incorporated in the main image of the sweater in six of the drawings. The blue acrylic paint of the sweater has been applied by brush with some additions of red, pink and black acrylic, and a brown wash brushed and poured directly onto the support. The inscriptions are in pencil and blue crayon. One of the sketches is coated in a layer of matt acrylic medium.

The drawings are in good condition and on acquisition were mounted onto museum board.

Calvin Winner
October 1997

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